One of the biggest demands on the power grid begins each year on Thanksgiving Day and the following weekend when people begin firing up their ovens, start decorating for the holidays and turn on scores of additional lights. The good news is, it is a manageable demand, and one Entergy Mississippi is prepared to meet during the holiday season.
For those who want to celebrate and decorate while conserving energy, there are several ways to do that. In recent years, outside inflatables have become more popular. They look festive day or night, don’t require scaling a roof or using a hammer and nails, and are relatively easy to put up or take down. Decorating with inflatables also requires less energy than one might expect.
Blow Me Away!
One large inflatable decoration consumes about 150 watts of energy per hour and would cost about $6 per month if running for 12 hours a day. An inflatable item measuring four feet would use about 50 watts per hour, so operating three of these smaller inflatables would cost about the same as a large one for a month.
Light Up My Life
Traditional string lights use about 10 watts of electricity per bulb, and most strings have a minimum of 25 bulbs. One 25-bulb string light used 12 hours per day would consume about 90 kilowatts over the course of a month and cost just over $10. Multiply that by the number of strings of lights both inside and outside the house, and it quickly adds up to more energy and higher costs. But there are ways to save. Swapping traditional lights for LED light strings saves energy and money, as LED lighting is about 75 % more energy efficient. And because they are cooler to the touch, they are safer as well.
Safety is always at the top of Entergy Mississippi’s checklist. Follow these safety tips to keep your holiday merry!
- If you put up lights outside your home, be sure they are specifically marked for outdoor use.
- Never replace a bulb, inside or out, when a string is electrified, as the current used for one incandescent holiday light can stop a beating heart.
- For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords.
- Use a nonconducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights and stay clear of all overhead wires.
- Keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes.
- Use rubber gaskets in light sockets or hang sockets downward to keep water out.
- Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic, dry grass or leaves.
- Turn outdoor and indoor holiday lights off when away from home or asleep in case of fire.
No matter how you choose to light up the season, use a timer to set the hours of usage to deflate your energy costs and keep you and your home safe.
Entergy Mississippi offers efficiency programs to help customers conserve energy and money all year long. For more information or to enroll, visit entergy-mississippi.com/energy_efficiency/main/ .